Capital Health in Halifax updates look and adds features

by Denise Bonin Friday, November 30, 2012 10:18 AM

It started with a simple request… “Could you help us add permalinks to our web Catalogue textbase records?”, but it ended with 3 new textbase interfaces, an ordering cart, a mobile interface, the ability to add records to RefWorks and, of course, permalinks.

At the beginning of this project with the Capital Health Library, it was quickly determined that, given the age of the current web-interface, adding permalinks to the records could only be accomplished using canned searches with rather long URLs.  That was rejected and a discussion ensued that resulted in the addition of many new features to the site.

Out with the old and in with the new. We started with the backend by revising the textbase data structures and ditching a bunch of unused fields and forms for the Catalogue and Pamphlets textbases.  The Catalogue had a separate interface for journal check-in and item ordering, which was also revamped.  Using the Andornot Starter Kit for Inmagic’s DB/TextWorks, we were able to provide nice clean desktop screens with a minimal number of forms, including a couple of links to saved sets from the menu screen, e.g. new catalogue items added in the past 30 days.  Given that the Capital Health library staff were already familiar with the Inmagic DB/TextWorks program, it was not a big jump to start using these new desktop interfaces and they adapted quite quickly. 

Screen shot of Pamphlets textbase search resultsMore clean up and integration. The web-interface overhaul followed using the Andornot Starter Kit for Inmagic’s WebPublisher PRO.  This included new search screens, brief report forms, and full display forms with “see also” links and Permalinks for the Catalogue, Journals and Pamphlets interfaces.  All of which was nicely integrated into the Capital Health Library website template.  Google book covers and links to Google Books were made available on both report and full display forms in the Catalogue.  Users of both the Catalogue and the Pamphlet textbases now have the ability to add items to a cart, for ordering, and/or Email, Save and Print.  In addition, within the interfaces, users can also link to selected websites, e-books, e-journals or to in-house PDF files.  Quick links to the other textbases and back to the Library website are readily available on every page.

Go-small-and-go-home. Why not let the users have access to the systems wherever they are located, even if it is on the bus, in the hospital, or at home?  Using the mobile version of the Andornot Starter Kit, we added a couple of mobile interfaces.  These included the Catalogue textbase as a whole, with all its links to e-books, e-journals, Google Books, websites, etc. as well as a separate journal subset.

Screen Shot of Catalogue textbase of RefWorks LinkResearch counts. A slight delay in the launch occurred when it was discovered that RefWorks was a big part of the Capital Health library world, but that it took about 10 steps to implement this in order to get catalogue records into RefWorks.  Some coding later and we were able to add the RefWorks feature to the Email, Save and Print portion of the cart allowing a much smoother path from catalogue to bibliography.

“We got much more than we expected when we asked about Permalinks! We now have an ordering system for our patient pamphlets, a direct-to-RefWorks button and mobile-ready search pages for our catalogue and our journals. All of this is based on the Inmagic software that our staff know so well. Andornot worked with our Information Technology department to get us to a new level of service. The look and feel is close to what our users know, so there is limited change for them, but behind the scenes, we now have more searchable fields, simpler systems, and, of course those Permalinks! All in all, an excellent experience!”
Penny Logan, Capital Health Manager Library Services

Future ready. With all these new features now in place the library is well positioned to move into the future, providing the Capital Health staff with an abundance of new information access options. 

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